Reduce the Mess of Stress

Savana Freyman, Student Life Editor

Sometimes it seems that there is not enough time in the day. There are essays to write, math homework to complete, tests to study for, FLVS assignments to turn in and college application deadlines approaching. Needless to say, students are feeling the school year stress beginning to kick in.

Stress is what a person feels when he or she can’t properly cope with a task, event or situation. It’s the sense of being overwhelmed. This is frequently accompanied by a fear of what may happen as a result of not being able to cope. Stress is demanding on the body both physically and mentally. Some Wellington High School students have unique ways to deal with the stress this school year has bestowed upon them.

“I love driving to Barnes and Noble to buy a really good book. Then I find a comfortable seat in the store where it’s nice and quiet to read and sip my Starbucks in peace.” Kelly Simone, senior, said.

Reading is the best way to relax, and even six minutes can be enough to reduce the stress levels by more than two thirds, according to new research by Mindlab International at the University of Sussex. Psychologists believe this is because the human mind has to concentrate on reading and the distraction of being taken into a literary world eases the tensions in muscles and the heart.

If reading isn’t appealing, there is no need to fret. Exercise is also a great way to relive the stresses of everyday life. Psychologically, running gives a person a set amount of time to be alone and think. In studies, regular runners generally say they live a happier, more stress-free life than their couch potato counterparts.

“Running helps me clear my mind from the stresses of reality for a little while,” Scott Pescatore, junior, said.

Getting in touch with the creative side of life can also reduce anxiety. Singing, for example, releases feel-good brain chemicals called endorphins. It also draws more oxygen into the blood and causes better circulation, reducing stress.
“Sometimes when I feel stressed I sing to my favorite music or I do some writing.” Marianth Karadakis, sophomore, said.

Some students like Sarah Holt and Erin McNally both agree that bubble baths help sooth them after a long stressful day because it gives them relaxation time and they feel pampered afterwards.
Stress may cause students to start emotional eating. The stress hormone can cause cravings for sweet and salty foods.

“I eat until I can’t move when I worry about everything going on in my life.” Brooke Mucino, freshmen, said.

People under stress may also seek out social support, which is a great way to relieve stress. Crying on a friend’s shoulder over a couple of hot fudge sundaes, sharing pizza with the guys as you watch football, or discussing the latest episode of Gossip Girl over Death By Chocolate Cheesecake with your best friends, will provide the social support students desperately need when feeling very stressed.

“I eat until I can’t move when I worry about everything going on in my life.” Brooke Mucino, freshmen, said.

No one said being a teen was going to be easy. The stresses of maintaining a balance between school, sleep and a social life can seem almost impossible, but there are many ways to deal with the feelings of stress and anxiety. Students just need to decide which stress reliever is the right choice for them.